From: Regulatory Studies Center/George Washington University

By Sofie E. Miller, Senior Policy Analyst

The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center strives to improve regulatory policy through research, education, and outreach. As part of its mission, the Center conducts careful and independent analyses to assess rulemaking proposals from the perspective of the public interest. This response to the Department of Energy’s request for information on reducing regulatory burdens does not represent the views of any particular affected party or special interest, but is designed to enhance and reinforce DOE’s retrospective review efforts.

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Incorporation of Retrospective Review into NPRMs

In his implementing memo on retrospective review, former Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, stated that “future regulations should be designed and written in ways that facilitate evaluation of their consequences and thus promote retrospective analyses and measurement of ‘actual results.’”[2] This emphasis is repeated in Sunstein’s June 14, 2011 memo, “Final Plans for Retrospective Analysis of Existing Rules.”

In its 2013 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) states that such retrospective analysis can serve as an important corrective mechanism to the flaws of ex ante analyses. According to that report, the result of systematic retrospective review of regulations:

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